BusinessDay

Flavour’s biopic: Top 6 most popular music biopics you should watch

Chinedu Okoli, also known as Flavour N’Abania, a Nigerian highlife musician, has reportedly got an advance payment of $3 million (N1.2 billion) for his Amazon Prime Video biopic. According to new reports, Amazon Prime is preparing to begin production on the singer’s documentary, making him the first African to benefit from such generosity.

We love Afrobeats and the stories behind them, but despite the fact that musical biopics are a thing of western culture, we haven’t seen any for African musical legends like Fela Kuti, King Sunny Ade, or more recent musical icons like 2face Idibia, also known as 2baba, and Oladapo Daniel Oyebanjo, better known by his stage name D’banj, who were forerunners of Afrobeats globalization.

Amazon Prime is attempting to catch up with Netflix, which has an estimated 2.6 million subscribers in Africa and has been forced to create unique content in the form of a biopic of the highlife singer in the hopes of attracting new subscribers and driving the adoption of the streaming platform further into the market.

As the first of its kind in Africa, BusinessDay examines six popular music biopics you should watch before the release of the future Flavour adapted movie.

Read also: Billboard to launch new US Afrobeats Songs Chart

All Eyez on Me (2017)

Following years of developmental delays, and director changes, All Eyez on Me was released on June 16, 2017. The American biographical film about late rapper Tupac Shakur was a success at the box office grossing $44.9 million in the United States and Canada, and $10.7 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $55.7 million, against a production budget of $40 million.

Directed by Benny Boom, the film stars Demetrius Shipp Jr. as Tupac Shakur with Kat Graham depicting his best friend Jada, Lauren Cohan, Danai Gurira who plays Tupac’s mother Afeni Shakur in supporting roles, with Jamal Woolard reprising his role as Christopher “The Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace from Notorious

Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

This musical biopic about the legendary rock band Queen and their lead singer Freddy Mercury, according to international film critics fails to live up to its high expectation given that the original story of the band was oversimplified but even so Rami Malek’s performance of Freddy Mercury elevates the entire film. directed by Bryan Singer the movie star other actors like Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy, Joe Mazzello, and Aidan Gillen in supporting roles.

Ray (2004)

Jamie Foxx’s uncanny, Oscar-winning incarnation of the late Ray Charles was flawless as he depicted the beloved rhythm & blues pioneer’s 50s and 60s heyday. As Ray Charles Jamie took home a lot of awards including Oscars, BAFTA, Golden Globes, and critics’ choice awards. What made people love the movie so much was that not only did he play the role so well but he made us believe he was Ray Charles. Filled with incredible true stories of the iconic singer, the movie starred Kerry Washington as Charles’ wife, Bea, Clifton Powell as Charles’ long-suffering assistant, Jeff Brown, and Regina King who portrayed one of Charles’ mistresses and backing singers, Margie Hendricks of the Raelettes.

Walk the line (2005)

Any way you want to look at it, James Mangold’s biopic is a great biopic as it follows Johnny Cash from his childhood to superstardom and beyond. The movie also puts Cash’s creative and personal relationship with June Carter at the heart of the movie and casts both roles perfectly in Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon. The movie was 2005s best film receiving five nominations at the 78th Academy Awards: Best Actress for Witherspoon, (which she won), Best Actor ( Phoenix), Best Sound, Best Costume Design, and Best Film Editing. The film received positive reviews and grossed $187 million on a $28 million budget.

Straight outta Compton (2015)

From award-winning biopic to the ones the Academy’s managed to snub, Straight outta Compton which was one of 2015s best films was only nominated for ‘original screenplay’. With the stunning performance by O’Shea Jackson Jr who played his real-life father Ice Cube, Corey Hawkins as Dr. Dre, Jason Mitchell as Eazy-E, Neil Brown Jr. as DJ Yella, and Aldis Hodge as MC Ren, the real hip hop group was brought to life in the big screens for the younger generation who didn’t get to witness the iconic group in the 90s as well as older fans who would reminisce on the good old days of hip hop. The film was also a box office success, making over $201 million on a production budget of $28–50 million.

From Eazy-E finding his voice in the studio to the group getting arrested for singing “Fuck Tha Police” in Detroit, the film rediscovers their lightning-in-a-bottle vitality_ Rolling Stone

I’m Not There (2007)

This movie is definitely one of the greatest music biopics as it tries to encapsulate the life of Bob Dylan, one of the rock era’s greatest shape-shifters. Directed by Todd Haynes, the movie starred Six actors who depict different facets of Dylan’s public personas: Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Marcus Carl Franklin, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger (his final film to be released during his lifetime), and Ben Whishaw.

When asked in an interview whether liked the film, Dylan responded, “Yeah, I thought it was all right. Do you think that the director was worried that people would understand it or not? I don’t think he cared one bit. I just think he wanted to make a good movie. I thought it looked good, and those actors were incredible.”

Which one is your favorite, and which one do you believe we left out? What do you think the title of the biopic about Flavour should be?

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